APRIL 28, 2022 — UTSA has been awarded a one-year, $250,000 grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to expand off-campus internship programs in this year.
The university is one of 23 Texas higher education institutions to receive the grant, which is directly supporting its efforts to provide experiential learning opportunities to students before they graduate.
UTSA’s proposal, entitled “Bolder Futures: Expanding UTSA’s Classroom to Career Initiative,” outlines how it is expanding internship funding for the behavior analysis and school psychology programs in its College of Education and Human Development, College for Health, Community and Policy, and Internship Scholarship program.
The award will enable UTSA to convert 39 non-paid internships into paid opportunities, to offer paid work-based learning experiences to an additional seven students, to increase the wages of another 35 interns, and to offer financial support to nine students who are currently in unpaid internships.
These THECB funds directly support two of UTSA’s institutional programs for career development. The university’s Bold Careers Quality Enhancement Plan focuses on the expansion of experiential learning, with a primary focus on internships. The Classroom to Career initiative connects what students are learning in the classroom to their future careers.
“Our behavior analysis student-interns at the Autism Treatment Center have shown up to work each week, through the pandemic, to provide life-changing services to families of children with autism within the San Antonio community. Through this grant, 28 currently employed student-interns will be recognized for their hard work through increased compensation,” said Hannah MacNaul, an assistant professor in the university’s educational psychology department and a co-principal investigator on the grant proposal to THECB. “Additional funds will be used to hire seven new undergraduate interns to expand our services. Through the THECB workforce grant, we can build capacity for behavioral services within our community and serve those that need them most.”
“Our UTSA Classroom to Career Initiative and Quality Enhancement Plan aligns with the mission of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Work-based Learning Opportunity Grant for internships,” added Mario Vela, assistant vice provost of the UTSA Office of Career-Engaged Learning, executive director of the UTSA Career Center, and the grant’s co-principal investigator. “This grant will strengthen the education-to-workforce pipeline, drive student opportunity and advance the state's economic competitiveness.”
Expanded internship opportunities are a critical component of both programs. As part of its 10-year strategic plan, UTSA aims for 75% of its undergraduate students to participate in some kind of experiential learning by the time they graduate.
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